Franks Landing History

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Frank’s Landing is a unique place. It is the site of the historic fishing disputes that eventually led to the Boldt Decision. The Landing is also known for its activities that benefit and support tribal people all around the south sound. Each purchase you make at Frank’s Landing directly supports vital community services such as the Wa He Lut Indian School where children from 26 federally recognized Indian Tribes come to learn traditional ways as part of a well-rounded education.


In 1974 Federal Judge George H. Boldt issued one of the most sweeping rulings in the history of the Pacific Northwest, affirming the treaty rights of Northwest tribal fishermen and allocating to them 50 percent of the harvestable catch of salmon and steelhead. Among the Indians testifying in Judge Boldt’s courtroom were Nisqually tribal leader Billy Frank, Jr., and his 95-year-old father, whose six acres along the Nisqually River, known as Frank’s Landing, had been targeted for years by state game wardens in the so-called Fish Wars.

By the 1960s the Landing had become a focal point for the assertion of tribal treaty rights in the Northwest. It also lay at the moral center of the tribal sovereignty movement nationally. The confrontations at the Landing hit the news and caught the conscience of many. Like the schoolhouse steps at Little Rock, or the bridge at Selma, Frank’s Landing came to signify a threshold for change, and Billy Frank, Jr., became one of the most colorful and accomplished figures in the modern history of the Pacific Northwest.